So after researching pretty extensively the webconferencing offerings of all of the main providers on the market (webex, webconference.com, webdialogs, elluminate, centra, net meeting, etc), I have come to the conclusion that none of them can provide yet the kind of fidelity of a traditional teleconference. Multi-party, full duplex on all webconferencing services I have tried is sketchy and full of latency issues, even in broadband environments.
VOIP is good and getting better every day for one-to-one uses. But beyond that, the data coordination issues become a problem. Which I guess is why most of the webconference providers offer a traditional teleconference package as a telephony solution.
It’s a bummer because SSRC was really hoping to roll out a web conferencing tool that we could use to facilitate small group meetings more effectively than a teleconference. But we may have to wait until the tech catches up with our needs, at a cost we can afford. If I hear right, Skype may be unveiling something in the next few months that might be very interesting.
Until then, we’re back to Ma Bell.
2 thoughts on “webconferencing < teleconferencing”
Assuming that you use telephone for the audio, what tool did you like best for web supplementing a meeting?
They all basically offer around the same feature sets — app sharing, powerpoint presentations, recording, IM, polling, etc.
I found webconference’s video mode quite nice for supporting up to 10 webcams at the same time. The customer support was super friendly and helpful and their rates are very competitive.
If I had the money, I would probably go with Elluminate. Well-grounded in the academic world, support for readers for people with disabilities, break-out rooms, and several other nice features. Latency was dealt with quite elegantly with delays rather than lost packets. And it supports PC, Mac and Linux, plus seems to work ok in low-bandwidth environments.
It really depends on what you are going to be doing with the meeting and what kind of accessibility needs you have.